September 16, 2019 at 09:01PM by CWC

You don’t have to pick up a paint brush or start writing the great American novel to tap into your creativity. My recommendation is to head straight to Trader Joe’s and let your imagination run wild in the gastronomy wonderland that is the aisle frozen food aisle… or, like, any other section of the store. One of the supermarket’s many humble brags is that its variety of products can be mixed and matched into dishes that are at once delicious and so. easy.

Once you know how to pair the pre-made foods with veggies and other finds, five-ingredient dinners suddenly become not only possible, but delightful. If you’re skeptical, please allow me to back my Trader Joe’s claims with edible proof Here are five unexpected ways to bring together a meal with only a handful of Trader Joe’s buys.

Trader Joe’s dinners are on the table fast with 5 easy recipes

trader joe's salsa
Photo: The Minimalist Baker

1. Salsa Soup

I’ve waxed poetic about this soup from blogger Dana Kaplan before and—can’t stop, won’t stop. The starter is a simple jar of Trader Joe’s salsa and with just a few additional ingredient, you wind up with a soup that could warm the most frigid soul. In winter, it’s oh-so-cozy to eat in the office. And, since it packs avocado, black beans, and sweet potatoes, you get the healthy fat, protein, and complex carb combination that will help you feel satisfied when you put your spoon down.

What to buy: chunky salsa, sweet potatoes, vegetable stock, black beans, avocado

2. Cauliflower pancake breakfast-for-dinner sandwich

If you troll the cauliflower frozen section at TJ’s (as I do), then you know that the frugal supermarket recently released cauliflower pancakes that fit right into Cauli-mania 2019. When it comes to these babies, the name of the game is a heart breakfast sandwich that tastes just as good at 8 a.m. as 8 p.m. Just cook off two pancakes and stack your favorite fixin’s’ in the middle. Options include a sunny-side up egg, avocado, tomato, and bacon.

What to buy: frozen cauliflower pancakes, avocado, eggs, bacon, tomatoes

Everything Bagel Salmon Recipe
Photo: Kate Gavlick

3.Wild Salmon with Everything But the Bagel Seasoning

A few years back, Well+Good challenged Kate Gavlick, CN, of VeguKate to come up with a mouthwatering Everything But The Bagel seasoning recipe. She delivered with a recipe that features only four ingredients. While you’re at TJ’s, just pick up EBTB, salmon, avocado oil, and a lemon. Voila!

What to buy: Everything But The Bagel seasoning, salmon, avocado oil, lemon juice

4. Curry Cauliflower Quinoa and Kale salad

In the prepared lunch section at good old Trader Joe’s, you’ll find the Curry Cauliflower Quinoa Salad (say that five time fast). Quinoa is a superstar grain for keeping your full, but to make the mix even more satiating, I like to mash in avocado. Once you’ve whipped this up, you can scoop it over a salad or sandwich it between two pieces of bread and call it a night.

What to buy: curry cauliflower quinoa salad, kale, avocado, your choice of bread

5. Cheesy red pepper pizza

WhLest we forget to include the famous alt-pizza crusts that may be Trader Joe’s number one claim to fame, this three-ingredient recipe is coming in clutch. With just a Broccoli Kale Pizza Crust, the grocery store’s signature Red Pepper Spread with Eggplant & Garlic, and mozzarella cheese, a Tuscan-style dinner is on the table in less than an hour.

What to buy: broccoli kale pizza crust, red pepper spread with eggplant and garlic, mozzarella cheese

Wondering how a dietitian shops the aisles of Trader Joe’s? Here’s her under $30 haul:

These three TJ’s seasonings will kick your spice drawer up a notch, and if you’re not already putting your cauli-gnocchi in your air fryer, get on it. 

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Author Kells McPhillips | Well and Good
Selected by CWC

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